Tracking Wildlife in the Park
By Lyle Grisedale
In mid-February, a group of enthusiastic nature lovers joined a Natural History outing led by Lyle Grisedale to search for and identify animal tracks in the park. The four types of animal walking, Zig Zaggers, Wobblers, Bounders, and Hoppers, were discussed and then we headed into the Nature Park via the Higgins entrance. We travelled up Edge Trail, where we observed grouse, moose, deer fox and pine marten tracks above 2nd Eimers Lake.
Further along we found more evidence of pine marten, moose, fox, coyote and deer. After a short break at the end of Duck Pond, we travelled towards Myrtle Junction where we added weasel and squirrel tracks to our growing list. We then descended via Pat Morrow Trail, but unfortunately the wind had caused the snow to be littered with tree bombs obliterating most of the tracks. However, we were able to discover and identify 7 species during the hike. Missing from our list were the tracks of the snowshoe hare. Along the way we heard chickadees, nuthatches, red crossbills and the drumming of a woodpecker. The group travelled over 9 km in the 3.5 hours that we were in the park. It was a beautiful warm and pleasant day to be out observing nature.